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Community college to offer motorcycle safety course

The wind on one’s face, the open road ahead and a motorbike underneath; the image of the freedom-seeking motorcycle enthusiast is deeply ingrained in American culture.

Starting next March, area residents can take the first step on that adventure at Beaufort County Community College by learning how to safely operate a motorcycle in traffic. For those just starting to consider motorcycle ownership, BCCC Director of Personal Enrichment Initiatives Clay Carter says this is a great place to start.

“We provide the motorcycles and helmets, or students may bring their own,” Carter said. “So if you’re thinking about buying a bike or moving in that direction, you can take this class and get some practice and understanding of how to safely handle that bike.”

The class will utilize the curriculum prescribed by the National Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the national standard in motorcycle instruction. Completion of the class results in a certificate that can help with the process of receiving one’s motorcycle endorsement at the Division of Motor Vehicles.

“What we offer matches what people from here have been driving some distance to get,” Carter said. “We’re just real proud and pleased that we’ve got it in our neighborhood now. People don’t have to go somewhere else to get it.”

The new course is one of a variety of new opportunities presented by the college’s recently completed Public Services Driving Pad. By design, the 400-by-600 foot concrete pad’s primary purpose is to facilitate vehicle training for emergency personnel.

“We have wanted to do this for so long, but lacked the appropriate space because it requires an open expanse for the students to ride the motorcycles,” Carter said. “We have a gracious plenty of space.”

The first session will take place on March 14 and15, the second class will take place on April 25 and 25, and a final spring class will take place on May 16 and 17. All classes will be held on weekends.

Each class has three components: a mandatory online portion, a classroom portion and a driving portion. Participants must complete a mandatory free e-course provided by the NMSF before the start of class. Participation without this certificate is not allowed, and refunds are not given for lack of completion.

Participants must wear an approved helmet, over-the-ankle footwear, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt or jacket, full-fingered gloves, and protective eye wear at all times while training.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am about it,” Carter said. “We’ve been talking about it for years and now we finally have the facility. There are just so many bikers out there now. It’s a very popular activity.”

The college anticipates making these classes part of its regular personal enrichment programming line-up. Those interested in signing up can contact Clay Carter at 252-940-6357 or clay.carter@beaufortccc.edu for more information.